TAMPA, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (10-10, 0-3 SSC) dropped last two of the series to No. 7 University of Tampa Spartans (10-3, 4-2 SSC), 2-1 and 2-1, Saturday afternoon in Doubleheader action from the Vince Naimoli Softball Complex in Sunshine State Conference action.
In total the Lions started Conference play on a sour note of 0-3.
Spartans pitcher Julia Morrow had a no-hitter going into the top of the six inning, until Lions junior McKenzie Burns stroked a double up the middle. With two outs Burns stole third for her 86th stolen base of her young career, just one away from the all-time high at Saint Leo held by Denyve Duncan. Burns would cross the plate on a passed ball by Spartans catcher Kandi Kuder which proved to be the only Lions run of the game.
Alana Tabel (2-4) would saddle the loss tossing 6.1 innings allowing only three hits and striking out two.
Game two was another low hitting game. The Lions were the first to collect a hit, Angela Kafalas was able to single to left center and steal second in the top of the second. Rachael Heath lead off the third with a bunt but was not able to get anything started. It wasn't until the top of the sixth when the Lions showed some life with an Adriana Sanders lead off triple to right field and Chelsey Steedley reached on an error which allowed Sanders to score. In the top of the seventh Heath reached on a two out error and was able to steal second and advance to third on another error. Jessica LoBianco with was not able to get Heath across the plate to tie the game as she struck out looking.
The Spartans scored their two runs in the bottom of the fourth, not with hits but on errors by the Lions which proved to be enough to seal the victory at 2-1, and to take to the series at 3-0.
Sarah Steiner (5-5) took the loss for the Lions as she allowed only two hits, and struck out two on the day.
The Lions travel on March 5th to Flagler for a doubleheader to be played at 5 and 7 p.m. and then return to Saint Leo for their home opener on March 8th for the Saint Leo Invitation Tournament.
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